First sight of a Brimstone Butterfly, Sign of English Spring – a poem by Leo Aylen

First sight of a Brimstone Butterfly, Sign of English Spring
A middle-aged writer remarked: “Each spring-time I remind myself the number of spring-times I shall experience is limited.”
A floating petal, a flicker of gold
Tinge on green, glimpsed, corner of the eye
Passing, the colour of wakening spring’s
Pale sunlight stroking leaves to unfold                      
From their split buds, this butterfly —
This Brimstone — this fragile pointing
To summer’s approach, this creature which wind
Puffs gently, like casual thistledown,
Like froth from waves, like motes of dust,
Over its universe’s end,
Seems in this moment to have grown
Wind, wave, land, ocean, universe, vast,
As our lives, nudged by the coming of spring,          
Shrink butterfly-small, butterfly-frail …
Though we may last a second or two
Longer than Brimstone, will anyone think
Us a green-gold reflection of pale
Sunlight, as we’re glimpsed, passing through?

Leo Aylen was born in KwaZulu, South Africa, was educated in England and has lived in London, New York, LA. He has 5 prizes, about 100 poems in anthologies, 100 broadcast,  9 collections published, the latest The Day The Grass Came, called “a triumph”  by Melvyn Bragg, “Stupendous” by Simon Callow, “An energy which could leave readers gasping” by Martyn Halsall. He usually writes in strict forms.

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